You've got to give credit where credit is due, even if the people you're giving credit to deserve to be sitting in a jail cell.

The people I'm referring to are scam artists. The reason for giving them credit is that no matter what's going on in the Rockford area or the country as a whole, this group finds a way to figure out what people really want. Once they've identified the hot commodities, they figure out how to trick you out of your money.

That sort of flexibility has been on display since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were all just learning about the coronavirus when these people started selling phony COVID-19 test kits, "cures," and other pandemic-related items that didn't do anything but enrich the scammers themselves while offering nothing but the embarrassment of being taken to their victims.

Now that we're in the initial stages of COVID-19 vaccines, the scammers are at it again, according to Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Dennis joined the WROK Morning Show on Tuesday to explain why, with the recent approval of a COVID-19 vaccine (and others to follow), you should be on the lookout for everything from phony vaccines to fake treatments and phishing messages from scammers looking to cash in.

I mentioned how quick scammers can focus on a hot issue, so you're probably not shocked to learn that there are already reports of scam calls offering people a chance to avoid long lines and receive an early dose of the Pfizer vaccine for $79.99.

Dennis Horton:

Selling fake vaccines and other treatments are likely only one of many ways scammers will try to cash in on the vaccine release. Watch out for phishing messages attempting to trick you into sharing your passwords and personal information. Con artists have already impersonated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in phishing emails that claim to have news about the disease. The BBB has also seen an increase in scams using robocalls to impersonate government officials.

Dennis also filled us in on Christmas shopping scams, and gave a heads-up on a social media platform that can help you and your neighbors be more aware of what's happening in your own neighborhood:

 

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads